Live blogs I’m following:
And of course the opening remarks by the Chair (Dem) and the Ranking Member (Rep) were little more than self-serving PR exercises for either side.
My crystal ball (like it takes one!) says he will once again summarize what’s in the report, and remind Congress of why it’s their bailiwick, not his, to deal with its contents. The only people who will be at all surprised by anything he says will be those who have no clue what’s in the report.
The only purpose I can see to this exercise is that it may move some more House Dems to come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry. 92 have done so already; another few dozen would push it up to a majority of the Dem caucus, which would make it a bit harder for Pelosi to ignore, or pretend that just ‘the squad’ and a handful of other firebrands are the only advocates of an impeachment inquiry.
Mueller: “We did not address collusion, which is not a legal term.”
Thanks for this live commentary thread. My stomach can’t bear watching this directly.
You should. So far, it’s pretty good.
Trump refused Mueller interview request.
I just watched a bit. “Collusion = conspiracy” YES!!
Y’all are younger and stronger than me. Just watching that much made my blood pressure shoot up. I’ll continue to follow here.
ETA: The CNN live blog cited above is very good.
Mueller says that Russia favored Trump, and Trump welcomed Russian efforts on his behalf. Not news to us, but nice to see Mueller say it on TV.
Nadler: Did the President refuse a request to be interviewed by you and your team?
Nadler: And Is it true you tried for more than a year to secure an interview with the President?
Nadler: And is it true that you and your team advised the President’s lawyer that, quote, an interview with the President is vital to our investigation, closed quote?
Nadler: And is it true you also, quote, stated that it is the interest of the Presidency and public for an interview to take place, closed quote?
Nadler: But the President still refused to sit for on interview by you and your team?
Rep. Jerry Nadler: “What about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the president?”
Robert Mueller: “No.”
Nadler: “In fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president.”
Mueller: “It does.”
"Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California asked Mueller if his investigation found that “the Russian government perceived it would benefit from one of the candidates winning.”
Mueller said they did.
She continued: “And which candidate would that be?”
Mueller responded: “Well, it would be Trump.”"
What’s the D strategy here? They just seem to want Mueller on record reiterating their talking points about the report. Is there no avenue for uncovering new information?
The R strategy is clear, and I fear it’s going to be a lot more effective than whatever the Ds are doing – get everyone to forget about the bad stuff Trump and Russia did and focus on anything else.
Ratcliffe, a Republican: “…the Democrats and Socialists and babykillers…”
Okay, he didn’t actually say “babykillers.”
Mueller has made it clear that he has no intention of revealing any information not contained in the report. I think there’s a lot of value in these soundbites from the report, with Mueller saying “yes” and “that’s accurate”, since most Americans have not read the report, and TV soundbites are going to reach a lot more people than the dense verbiage of the report.
Yes, I’m sure lots of minds will be changed with that strategy. All those fence-sitters and ball-washers out there.
There will NOT be anything new. But having Mueller say it out loud, or at least monosyllabically answer questions, IS new. And important.
Some doofuses (doofi?) on Twitter are in a snit because Mueller is doing exactly what he said he would do: stick to the report. They want fireworks, when what this report is is a slow-burning fuse.
It’s not about fence-sitters and ball-washers, it’s about people who pay little attention to politics and know nothing about what Mueller said in the report. This is more likely to reach them than just relying on the report. And I think there’s a lot of such folks. Even if this only sways a tiny percentage of them, that could be enormously political valuable.
Another good liveblog: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-beta/primeblog-mueller-testifies-before-congress